Zim dollar a curse many want to forget

Under the heading “the Zim dollar can work wonders”, the Sunday Mail last weekend once again tried to stimulate interest in this discredited currency.

MUCKRAKER

If Zanu PF was hoping for an uptake in interest they were likely to be disappointed. Nothing could be more calculated to drive the public into the arms of the opposition.

Whatever we may think about the MDC formations, they — and probably the rest of the country — are united on the issue of the Zim dollar.

Nobody wants the disastrous dollar to make a reappearance after the success of the US dollar in standing for stability and growth.

Inspired
The Sunday Mail has taken inspiration from German chancellor Gustav Stressemann. in the Weimar republic who secured currency stability in the mid-20s.

Germans were delighted with this outcome.

Can the same be said of Tafataona Mahoso who has been advocating a return to the Zim dollar for several years?

The German public were keen to exchange their worthless papierenmark for the robust rentenmark.

After the Second World War Germans embraced another new currency in 1948 — the deutschemark — which they were loath to abandon when the euro came in.

Zimbabweans, we can be sure, will be equally reluctant to see a return to the Zim dollar.

The US dollar provided, in addition to physical stability, the psychological security that comes with a stable currency. People could actually plan ahead.

Mahoso refers to the “Rand Union” in his article. Is this the same as the Rand Monetary Area?

Parade circus
It is very important nowadays to put on the correct shoes when going on parade. ZTV carried a clip last Thursday night which explained how tight-fitting shoes can be a hazard to powerful people’s circulation when they have to stand to attention for hours.

We gather that it is an offence in one service to fall over when standing on parade. Rarely has a story been so widely covered as this one. All sorts of explanations were given about how and why it happened. But all were agreed including the victim, it was the tight shoes that were the culprits!

Muckraker’s comment: Cou-ldn’t he check what shoes he would be wearing that morning?

Imaginary victories
It is entertaining to watch the state press claim victories for Zanu PF.

On Tuesday the Herald stated that “the fact that the EU is prepared to normalise relations without setting preconditions, especially around the land reform programme, is a major victory for the country.”

Is it true that the EU is prepared to ignore its own policy? Why for instance have several ministerial expeditions to Europe under the rubric of re-engagement proved fruitless?

Is it seriously suggested the EU knows nothing about observer mission head Pierre Schori’s eviction from the country in 2002 for identifying political violence and electoral manipulation?

Misplaced warning
Meanwhile it is good to have Supa Mandiwanzira’s assurance that more commercial radio licences will soon be issued.

But we are not interested in Joram Nyathi’s warning about the tower of Babel in the commercial sector.

“We need to have a national voice that speaks to common values,” he says.

Do we? In a mature democracy the public and interested parties can fashion whatever values they like. They don’t need government columnists telling them about the supposed need for “common values”.

There are over 12 million Zimbabweans and every one is entitled, notionally, to broadcast their “values”.

“Common values” are in any case the domain of one-party states in an earlier era.

They need consigning to the dustbin of history while real broadcasters get on with their work.

Once again we need to draw attention to the Supreme Court ruling of 2000 striking down the ZBC monopoly. How has that manipulation of “common values” served the country? It is a good illustration of what happens when the state thinks it knows better.

Perplexed
Can someone please explain what the European Council on Tourism and Trade really is all about.

Muck paid a visit to the “private Bucharest, Romania-based organisation with an interest in tourism”, as it is described by The Herald, and was underwhelmed to put it mildly.

Shabby and outdated-looking, it could do with a comprehensive facelift. And how is the World Best Tourism Destination award arrived at, and by whom, most Zimbabweans must be wondering?
The website reveals the award winner for 2013 was Laos.

Previous winners are: 2007 — Arab Republic of Syria; 2008 — Turkey; 2009 — United Arab Emirates; 2010 — Republic of Korea (South Korea); 2011 — United Arab Emirates; 2012 — Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Under “nomination criteria and selection” the website, rather vaguely, says:

Nominations are usually submitted until August 1 of the year in question, but the update and new name are accepted until the completion is closed.

The statutes of World Best Tourist Destination Award guarantee the secrecy of nominations, procedure, considerations and investigation for a period of 50 years after the prize has been awarded.
The nominations are not representative of anything other than the opinions of the nominators, we are told.

The ECTT, which is not affiliated to the EU was on Wednesday scheduled to present two awards to President Mugabe “in recognition of Zimbabwe’s appeal as a major tourism destination” in a ceremony at a Harare hotel, which “provides further independent affirmation of Zimbabwe as a tourism destination of choice”, according to The Herald.

Marginalised
Meanwhile our sister paper Newsday on the same day reported Tourism players from Mashonaland West province had rapped the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) for charging “exorbitant” operating fees and concentrating its activities in Harare at the expense of outlying areas.

Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting at Chinhoyi Training Centre on Tuesday, hotel, boat and fishery operators from the province also accused the ZTA of “killing the tourism sector” by failing to promote local tourism and ignoring small players.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry deputy minister Retired Brigadier-General Walter Kanhanga concurred saying the tourism sector was on a downward slide due to many factors.